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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Boyfriend Foods

It's been almost an entire year that boyfriend and I have been cohabitating.  We went from eight years of long distance, living in several different states, to seeing each other everyday.

There are lots of positives.  1. I always have someone to talk to when I get home and I'm not left talking to my shoes.  2. There is someone there to plan weekend outings with. No more heading to the park by myself, unless I really want to go by myself.  3. There are far fewer leftovers and I don't have to eat the same thing for lunch all week long.

It isn't all sunshine and butterflies, of course.  Living with another person again took some getting used to and living with boyfriend wasn't like living with a roommate.  Some things became apparently true.

1. The laundry folding doesn't take half the time.  Why? Because there is twice as much laundry to fold and boyfriend folds his clothes weird. (I mean really, who folds their jeans like fancy pants?  I don't need a crease down the middle of my jeans)

2. Picking weekend events can be stressful!  This is coming from a girl who for seven years didn't have a real weekend (thank you grad school).  There were too many options now open to me!  I actually broke down one weekend because I couldn't choose between going to the beach or going to the park.  I just wanted someone to pick for me (take away my choices, choose for me!).

3. Boyfriend has an unusual set of food likes and dislikes.  I've been slowly figuring out what he likes by doing the following - Cook what I like... Discover what he has left behind on the dinner plate/bowl... Make mental note about what remained.  Yesterday, I found a pile of mushrooms in the pasta bowl.  Why? "They didn't taste mushroomy enough to be good, but I don't really like he taste of mushrooms either."  Huh, flavorless mushrooms = bad, flavorful mushrooms = also bad. Mental note created.

One Year AgoFruit and Yogurt Jars

Spring Penne Pasta
Adapted from Cuisine at Home

Boyfriend left behind the marinated artichoke hearts from this meal.  I promptly shoveled them into my bowl because they are delicious.  And boyfriend is crazy.  This meal was perfect for a warm spring night, with its light sauce and tender crisp vegetables.  Dinner can be super fresh if you happen to pick up asparagus from the farmers market! 

8 oz. dried penne pasta
8 oz. asparagus, chopped in 2-inch pieces

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
5 tbsp butter
2/3 cup white wine
Juice for 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tbsp freshly chopped chives

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts
Shaved parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Add asparagus in the last three minutes of cooking.

While the pasta water is coming to a boil, grill chicken.  Toss chicken breasts in olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Grill chicken until no longer pink in the middle.  Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice into strips just prior to serving.

In a small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and shallot and cook for 3 minutes.  Add wine and cook until reduced by half.  Reduce heat to low and add remaining butter 1 tbsp at a time.  Once all of the butter is combined, add lemon juice, parsley and chives.  Whisk to combine.

Drain the pasta and asparagus and return to the pasta pot.  Add sauce, chicken, tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  Toss to combine.  Plate out individual portions and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
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